Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Keep it in the middle

If your little one isn't talking much or at all, or if you just want to increase their phrase length you can use this method to encourage language expansion/use/growth. When your eating a meal put everything in the middle of the table. The utensils, plates/bowls, drinks/cups, and all the food. Then everyone has to request what they need. This allows the adults to model the good language use and the little ones can do what they can to request. So if your little one isn't talking at all you can just require them to use a sign or a gesture or some form of communication and then reward them with their desired item. As they get better with what your requiring them to use you can increase your demands on them. Begin with close approximations such as for cup if they say "cu" then reward them with the cup. Slowly require more from them, "cup please", then "Want cup please", then "I want a cup please" and so on. Always reinforce their request with what they said but one step higher. So if they say "cup" you would say "oh you want a cup please" or "you said, cup please" that way they are always hearing the correct word and you are scaffolding them to go one step further than they are currently able to.

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